Spotlight on: Less-than-truckload (LTL)

LTL 101: What is less-than-truckload shipping?

LTL shipping is a method of transportation that combines multiple smaller shipments from different shippers into a single truckload: Like carpool for your freight. This means shippers can share transportation costs while ensuring their product gets where it’s going, safely and efficiently.

Moving smaller shipments with Sethmar

Not every shipment you need to get on the road requires a full truckload. So why would you pay for an entire trailers’ worth of space when you only need part of it? That’s where less-than-truckload transportation comes into play.

LTL shipping is an efficient, cost-effective solution for smaller freight loads. By leveraging the benefits of consolidation, advanced technologies, and strategic operational decisions, LTL shipping means we can optimize transportation costs, reduce carbon emissions and offer you increased flexibility.

Because the need for LTL shipping is dependent on the situation as well as the product, we offer LTL solutions for almost every industry we service, including wine, beer and spirits; food and beverage; CPG and retail; and restaurants and hospitality.

If you have a shipment between 1-6 pallets (or less than 12 linear feet), it’s probably an ideal candidate for Sethmar’s standard LTL solutions. Shipments between 6-12 pallets fall into the volume LTL or partial LTL category, but are essentially handled the same way.

Although there are some logistical differences between how we handle LTL and full truckload (FTL) shipments on our end, the outcome is the same for our customers: safe, on-time delivery of your freight.

What happens to my freight during LTL shipping?

The primary difference between the LTL and FTL processes is the number of touchpoints between pickup and delivery. Because rate calculation, consolidation, transit and routing all become a bit more complicated when your cargo is carpooling with someone else’s, the following things are usually true:

  1. Your freight will be handled more than it would be in a dedicated truckload
  2. Your freight may be subject to more accessorials than it would shipped FTL
  3. Time in transit may be longer
  4. Your freight’s delivery window may be larger

In return, you’ll realize the benefits of LTL shipping, like:

  • Flexibility: LTL shipping offers greater flexibility in terms of load size and frequency. Because it gives you the freedom to send smaller quantities more frequently, you can adjust shipments to your specific product-based and time-based needs.
  • Cost savings: By consolidating multiple smaller shipments into a single truckload, you’re able to significantly reduce your transportation costs. Since the expenses are shared among different shippers, shipping LTL is a cost-effective solution for your smaller loads.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: LTL shipping helps reduce the number of trucks on the road, which contributes to a greener and more sustainable supply chain.

Why choose Sethmar?

In many situations, LTL shipping seems like a no-brainer. And it is … if you work with the right logistics partner. The right logistics partner — like Sethmar — will deeply understand your business and your expectations, and has carefully curated a stable of carriers that will meet your needs, whatever they are.

Again, because LTL shipments are usually handled more often than FLT shipments, the trust you have in your 3PL and their carrier partners is incredibly important. Working with a reputable, trusted partner like Sethmar means you never have to worry about the proper handling of your freight, the reliability of your transit times, or the safe delivery of your product.

Sethmar has built intentional, dependable relationships with a trusted carrier network that gets your cargo where it’s going, no matter what it takes. And our robust operational infrastructure, including three cross-country consolidation facilities, helps support the well-being of your LTL shipment every step of the way.

As businesses continue to seek economical and sustainable logistics solutions, LTL shipping will prove to be a valuable asset in the dynamic world of supply chain management.

Have a smaller shipment to move? Let’s get loaded. Whatever it takes, Sethmar delivers.

Get in touch with our experts and partner with us today!

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